Teenager Lebo Mogoma from Helpmekaar says it was an ‘amazing moment’ when he met Bok captain Siya Kolisi at the BrightRock Players Choice Awards.
Mogoma captured the hearts of South Africans when he was videoed in tears after Kolisi signed his boots during the Boks’ World Cup victory parade through Johannesburg.
The Helpmekaar student was tracked down and invited to join Kolisi on stage for the Brightrock Players Choice Awards on 19 November.
In an interview with YOU magazine, Mogoma opened up about that moment he met his hero in person.
‘It was all a surprise … my mom told me that it was for an interview, but I didn’t know I’d be meeting Siya on that day,’ Mogoma said.
‘When I walked in, the first person I saw from the corner of my eye was Siya and I couldn’t believe it. It was an amazing moment, Siya is so cool and funny. He makes jokes and is such a great person to be around.’
Mogoma, who started playing rugby at six years old and plays wing, says he was left in awe when he spotted the Springboks during their trophy tour.
‘I couldn’t believe that I was seeing the entire Springbok team during their tour, I was completely awestruck. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I can’t even explain it … I felt so excited and incredibly grateful – it was an indescribable feeling.’
Mogoma’s mother, Dinah, says rugby was an avenue for her son to help deal with his father’s death in 2018.
‘His father’s death really devastated him, especially because he was starting high school and not being able to share those memories with his father affected him severely. But it was playing rugby that assisted him during that hard time, to the point where he started counselling me as his mother.
‘The moment was his,’ she added. ‘Lebo loves rugby so much that during the World Cup he’d be up in the early hours of the morning to watch fixture highlights and when the Boks won, it was such a joyous moment for him.’
Photo: Dinah Mogoma